I'll be happy to work with banjo pickers at any skill level, and have plenty of experience with beginners through amateur/semi-pro players. We can work on tone and technique issues ("how to's"), solo construction and approaches to backup ("what to's"), or cover basics of chord and scale theory as they apply to banjo ("why to's").
I can accept regular students in the Southwest VA area, or one time/occasional students who are willing or planning to travel to Roanoke.
I have always enjoyed teaching, and once did so full time with a student load of 40-50 each week. Both of my parents were teachers, so I suppose that whatever penchant I have in this area comes to me from them.
Anyone interested in pursuing this should just use the email link (upper right) on this page to get in touch. 8 comments
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Playing Since: 1973
Experience Level: Expert/Professional
Occupation: musician, business owner
Huber Lancaster, RB-250 Bow Tie
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Last Visit 4/14/2023
Born and raised in Norfolk, VA, John Lawless now lives in Roanoke where he manages AcuTab Publications, a business dedicated to producing high quality instructional materials for serious students of bluegrass instruments. From it’s humble beginnings as a true “spare bedroom” endeavor AcuTab has since earned a reputation for publishing the very finest transcriptions books and DVD instructional presentations in the bluegrass field. Though AcuTab started by publishing tab books for banjo, they have since moved into books, videos and DVDs for guitar, mandolin and dobro as well.
John is personally featured in four banjo DVD releases from AcuTab and was “instrumental” in the production of Knee Deep In Bluegrass, a CD featuring the many artists whose work has been the subject of AcuTab releases, and which was voted as the Instrumental Album Of The Year for 2001 by the International Bluegrass Music Association. He is also the producer of the second Huber Banjos CD, Cuppa ‘Jo.
In recent years, as a full time staff at AcuTab has afforded more time to pursue his music, John has been performing and recording more actively. He has been a featured member of the Roanoke-based band Acoustic Endeavors since 2000, and can be heard on their two critically-acclaimed, but narrowly-distributed CDs, On A Farm, Coming Of Age… again and Sneak Preview. He is also featured on the popular Team Flathead CD from Huber Banjos, and his own recent solo CD project, Five & Dime on Copper Creek Records which features his original banjo compositions.
John has also recently launched The Bluegrass Blog, along with Brance Gillihan of Clear Blue Productions. It is an online bluegrass news site, updated daily, with information about bands, recordings, TV/radio and anything else of interest to bluegrass players and fans.
John is featured in a cover story in the May 2004 issue of Banjo NewsLetter, the premier publication for players and fans of the five string banjo. Written by Bill Evans, a noted banjo player as well as historian and ethnomusicologist, the article includes a wide-ranging interview with John about his music and his success both with AcuTab, and as the director of marketing for Huber Banjos from the time the line was launched in 2001 until Huber elected to bring sales and marketing “in house” in September of 2005. John and AcuTab have been profiled in the past in both Bluegrass Unlimited and Bluegrass Now magazines, and John has contributed a number of articles to prominent bluegrass publications as an author, including Bluegrass Unlimited, Banjo NewsLetter and 5 String Quarterly.
John is able to accept a limited number of private students, either regular students who live in southwestern VA, or occasional students willing or planning to travel to Roanoke.
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